James Cox is an Associate Broker at Urban Compass. He’s also charming, urbane, and can rock a Polo shirt better than 97% of the world.
What skill is absolutely essential in negotiation?
Information is the key in knowing your opponent. You have to know where you can get the product or service elsewhere, [and whether it would] be of similar quality. In my business, I know what the previous person paid for the apartment, I usually can find out about their situation—are they getting a divorce, are they having children, are they moving overseas? I get very friendly with people and kind of wiggle things out of them by being charming. Being in [someone’s] apartment, looking around, I can see if it looks like somebody moved out, if half the furniture is there, if there are no photos of the dad anymore…you can see these things, and they will help you in your negotiation. At the end of the day, a good negotiation is where both sides are satisfied.
What are the top three places in the world you’d like to own real estate and why?
- New York City, because it’s the center of the universe, and the greatest real estate market ever.
- I’d love to have a place in Hawaii. I love it there, and I’d love to spend more time there. If I owned a home there I certainly would.
- I used to live in Istanbul, and I love it there—immensely. If I could own the apartment I lived in at the time, I absolutely would. I lived at the juncture of three waterways, and I had these gigantic windows, barreled ceilings that were all brick, a terrace.